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This study assessed the variations of Lead content in River Kaduna at Nariya farm for the months April, May and June, 18 samples of water were collected and analyzed. The data were analyzed for the three months for lead contents variations using the Flame Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer (F-AAS) method. Statistical approach was deployed to determine the level of significance of the monthly variations of the lead content in the river. Analysis of the water samples shows that the highest Lead content level was at the month of April and the least Lead content level at the month of June. Results shows that the values for upstream of the three months were above the WHO standard, only the result of the month of June downstream falls within the maximum standard of WHO. This revealed that the river have become contaminated by heavy metals discharge into the river especially from the industries and municipal waste and may cause serious ecological and health hazards. This study recommends that there should be proper monitoring of effluents, there is need for mass education of people on the impact of indiscriminate waste discharge on water quality.



Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb(from the Latin word plum bum) and has atomic number of 82.

It is a heavy metal that is denser than most common materials. Lead is soft and malleable and has a relatively low melting point. When freshly cut, lead is bluish-white; it tarnishes to a dull gray color when expose to air. Lead has the highest atomic number of any stable element and three of its isotopes each conclude a major decay chain of heavier elements (Wikipedia 2018).

Lead is an incredibly useful metal, but it is also toxic to humans. In fact if we didn’t have to worry about breathing in its dust or ingesting its particles, lead would be in widespread use due to its highly industrial properties such as excellent malleability and corrosion resistance.

Throughout history-before the scientific advancement of 20th century revealed it’s potent’ toxicity, lead was widely used in a variety of products including cosmetics, paint, solder, pipes and gasoline. Certain properties of lead namely, its ductility and resistance to corrosion and tiny leaks make it a particularly good material for constructing water pipes. Even the ancients Romans made their water pipes out of lead, causing some to believe that lead poisoning, at least partially led to the fall of Roman Empire. Lead element makes up to about 0.0013 percent of the earth’s crust according to Jefferson lab. It is not considered rare however, since it is fairly widespread and easy to extract. Lead typically occurs in very small amount of ores such as galena, anglesites and cerussite. (Traci, 2016).

For effective water pollution control and management, there is need for a clear understanding of the inputs(loads) distribution and fate of contaminants, especially heavy metals from industrial discharge and other land-based sources into aquatic ecosystems. This should be considered together with the possible effects this can cause on humans when such pollutants enter the food-chain. The main focus of this project is to assess the variations of lead(Pb) contents in River Kaduna and its possible ecological and environmental consequences.

Kaduna state has one of the largest concentrations of industries in Nigeria, which discharges waste water; it is also a rapidly expanding city through urbanization (Amadi etal,2014).

This means several activities in addition to discharge of waste water and municipal sludge which may probably contain heavy metal pollutants all of which pass through industrial drains, tributary streams and finally into River Kaduna (KEPA 2011).

River Kaduna may suffer enormous pollution and may contain high concentration of heavy metals as a result of industrial activities and other anthropogenic sources of contamination, it is thus important to test and analyses the concentration of these heavy metals in the river; this is important in view of the fact that the river basin serve as a major source of irrigation water for most of the farming activities practiced along the flood plain of the river and aquatic foods such as fish for most of the inhabitants of Kaduna metropolis and beyond. This means that there is every possibility of these heavy metals to bio-accumulate in fishes or plants which eventually can be consumed by humans leading to severe diseases.

Many villages and communities downstream also source their domestic water from the river and Kaduna South water works source its raw water from the river at the southern axis where industries discharges there waste into the river. This would mean a high cost of purification in terms of treating the water (Aliyu etal,2015).


River Kaduna is the main tributary of the Niger River in central Nigeria; it rises on the Jos plateau 18 miles (29 km) south west of Jos town near Vom and flows in a Northwesterly direction to a bend 22 miles (35km) Northeast of Kaduna town. It then adopts a southwesterly southerly course before completing its 340 miles (550km) flow to the Niger at Mureji opposite to Pategi.

Most of its course passes through open savanna woodland, but its lower section has cut several gorges (including the 2-mile;3-km granite ravine at shiroro) above its entrance into the extensive Niger flood plains. The Kaduna River is subject to great seasonal fluctuations and is navigable below Zungeru from July to October for light craft; it is used for fishing and for transport of local produce. People have utilized the Kaduna’s upper flood plains for swamp rice cultivation, and in the southern plains in Nupe tribal territory, rice and sugarcane production has become a major economic activity. Near Bida, the Edozhigi and Badeggi natural irrigation projects are major rice growing ventures. There are rail bridges at Zungeru and at Kaduna, the largest town on the river (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018).


Contamination of soil by heavy metals is of widespread occurrence as a result of human, agricultural and industrial activities. Among heavy metals; Lead is potential pollutants that readily accumulate in soils, sediments and water. Although lead is not an essential elements for plants, its get easily absorbed and accumulated in plants part. Uptake of lead in plant is regulated by PH, particle size and cat ion exchange capacity of the soils as well as by root exudation and other physio-chemical parameters.

Excess lead causes a number of toxicity symptoms in plants, example includes; stunted growth, chlorosis and blackening of root system. Lead inhibits photosynthesis, upsets mineral nutrition and water balance, changes hormonal status and affects membrane structure and permeability. (Braz J, 2005).


Since lead was used in so many products before people recognized the extent of its toxicity, it continues to pose real public health danger today for example, children living in older homes can still breathe in or ingest dust or paint chips from peeling lead paint on the wall. Lead can also leach in drinking water supply through older corroded lead pipes, faucets and solder.

Most cases of lead poisoning are mainly emotional and mental in nature; lead poisoning may be the last thing people suspects.

Problems of lead poisoning were found out to include the following;

1. Lead enters River Kaduna into farming systems through a variety of ways which include; irrigation with Lead contaminated water, use of Lead base pesticides and industrial operations.

2. Most people largest means of Lead poisoning is through food and drinking water where most farmers use the River for both irrigation and domestic purposes.

3. Mechanics waste containing lead find their way to River Kaduna through erosion during raining season.

All the problems cause by lead in the body are generally known as lead poisoning

1.3           THE AIM OF THE STUDY

The aim of this study is to assess the variations of lead content in River Kaduna at Nariya farm.


The objectives of this project are:

1. To assess the level of lead content variation in river Kaduna at Nariya farm.

2. To compare the concentration or level of lead in the water with the acceptable limits of WHO standard.

3.  To carry out statistical analysis to determine whether those variations are significant or not.


The fact that lead is very important and useful for industrial production or activities cannot be denied, but the health effects of lead have become much better understood since the middle of the 20th century. At one time the metal was regarded as quite safe to use for most applications. Now lead is known to cause both immediate and long-term health problems especially with children. It is toxic when swallowed, eaten or inhaled.

This study would help to know  the level of lead content in river Kaduna at Nariya which would help in knowing whether the water is safe for drinking or for agricultural activities and hence reduce the effects of lead poisoning.

1.6              SCOPE AND LIMITATION

The project will only be limited to a stretch of River Kaduna along Nariya and not the entire River and also only monthly variations would be considered instead of daily or weekly variations.

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